Playing For Keepsies

Photo Credit: N@ncyN@nce via Compfight cc

I think,
it was when you
played my heart
as yet another marble in a circle.

Lining your shooter,
you knuckled down –
carelessly –
finding Me
inside the chalk dust.

I was just another glass duck,
(nothing important to add to your collection)

No matter.

You were playing for keepsies.
Everyone else plays for points.

Before I knew it:
I was shot out of the ring
just another casualty of fudging
(while nobody was looking)
Pocketed and then forgotten,
tossed aside and then dumped.

I thought.
And waited.

Seasons change.


Little boys pull out their chalk
to draw their circles.
They rummage around dusty old drawers,
to find forgotten marbles
that once shined and reflected light.

They try to polish the glass,
scratched and dull from past abuse.

(Good enough, they think.)

Here we are again, you and I –
You toss me in the dirt;
your shooter is once again ready to take aim.

Only this time is different.
This time you aren’t prepared
for the sun in your eyes.

And it’s bright.

C. Streetlights

As a child, C. Streetlights listened to birds pecking at her rooftop, but instead of fearing them, was convinced they would set her free and she’d someday see the stars. Southern California sunshine never gave C. Streetlights the blonde hair or blue eyes she needed to fit in with her high school’s beach girls, her inability to smell like teen spirit kept her from the grunge movement, and she wasn’t peppy enough to cheer. She ebbed and flowed with the tide, not a misfit but not exactly fitting in, either. Streetlights grew up, as people do, earned a few degrees and became a teacher. She spent her days discussing topics like essay writing, Romeo and Juliet, the difference between a paragraph and a sentence, and for God’s sake, please stop eating the glue sticks. She has met many fools, but admires Don Quixote most because he taught her that it didn’t matter that the dragon turned out to be a windmill. What mattered was that he chose to fight the dragon in the first place. Streetlights now lives in the mountains with a husband, two miracle children, and a dog who eats Kleenex. She retired from teaching so she can raise her children to pick up their underwear from the bathroom floor, to write, and to slay windmills and dragons. She is happy to report that she can finally see the stars.

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